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ArcticInsider Features Articles

TGIF: The March 27, 2015 Edition

(3/27/2015)

TGIF: the snow-mo-bike rider

I'm thankful for the improved mountain performance characteristics offered by a vertical steering post, new lightweight spindle, narrow ski stance and reshaped skis, as well as the gear-carrying versatility of the new rear rack.

I'm thankful that I can ease into summer gracefully while still enjoying my favorite wintertime activity.

I'm thankful that if you have to ask, you wouldn't understand.

And I'm thankful it's Friday, March 27, 2015.

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TGIF: The March 20, 2015 Edition

(3/20/2015)

TGIF: Military snowmobile patrol

TGIF: Military snowmobile patrol

I'm thankful that, somewhere deep in Siberia's boreal forests, the Soviet military is guarding against unruly SledNecks.

I'm thankful the Cold War ended.

I'm thankful for the Limited Edition Turret model 2-up Touring available as a Spring-only option.

And I'm thankful it's Friday, March 20, 2015.

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The End is Near: Last (Snowmobile) Ride of 2015?

(3/19/2015)

2015 Gunflint snowmobile ride on Arctic Cats. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Winter here in Minnesota came to an abrupt end last week, as an 80-degree swing in temps and highs in the upper 60s fairly destroyed what little snow had accumulated in the past few months.

But there WAS some late season snow still hanging on in the Gunflint area of Minnesota's North Shore.

So with my son on spring break and my friend Tom Rowland always game for an adventure, on Tuesday we attempted what might be our last ride of the season.

Click to see if we succeeded.

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Where to See the 2016 Arctic Cat Snowmobiles

(3/13/2015)

2016 Arctic Cat snowmobile line

Where to see new 2016 model Arctic Cat snowmobiles?

Select models are probably already at your local Arctic Cat dealer. If they're not yet, they will be next week.

Plus there are a few key events where you can see most of the full model line.

Click for more info.

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Explained: Inside Arctic Cat's New TEAM Clutches

(3/10/2015)

2016 Arctic Cat TEAM Rapid Response and Rapid Reaction clutches. Posted by ArcticInsider.com

With the news that Arctic Cat is going to TEAM clutches for most of its 2016 snowmobile model line comes the question: What is it about these clutches that are an improvement over the Cat drive and driven assemblies?

Shift over to the story and find out.

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Explained: Arctic Cat's 2016 WR3 Snowmobile Transmission

(3/5/2015)

2016 Arctic Cat WR3 transmission

The new WR3 Easy Shift transmission that comes on select Bearcat and Pantera models will make a huge improvement in overall utility applications for owners who need it.

Shift into gear to read more.

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Making Sense of the 2016 Arctic Cat Snowmobile Packages

(3/3/2015)

2016 Arctic Cat ZR model snowmobiles

Arctic Cat rider walks into a bar.

Bartender says, “You have a nice package.”

Cat rider blushes, then replies, “Thanks. It’s the El Tigre package.”

To help you make sense of all this talk of various 2016 Arctic Cat snowmobile packages, I’ve put together this handy reference guide.

Click for the whole package.

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12 Things to Know About the 2016 Arctic Cat Snowmobiles

(3/1/2015)

2016 Arctic Cat Snowmobiles

Arctic Cat was BUSY this past year!

For 2016 the company introduced new models; heavily revised its mountain sleds; switched to TEAM clutches on most of its models; added a new 4-stroke engine; offers new quick-adjust FOX shocks; and more.

Click to read the 12 things you need to know, with more in-depth stories to follow in the coming days.

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TGIF: The Feb. 27, 2015 Edition

(2/27/2015)

TGIF: The Big Johnson (snowmobile)

I'm thankful for the hell-bent era of snowmobile speed records, when manufacturers went to great lengths to achieve top speed.

I'm thankful for the company marketing efforts that actually tried to tie machines like this to the actual consumer sleds.

I'm thankful we can all joke around about big Johnsons (and how they motivate some people to go bigger and faster).

And I'm thankful it's Friday, Feb. 27, 2015.

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TGIF: The Feb. 20, 2015 Edition

(2/20/2015)

TGIF: vintage snowmobile electrical utility worker.

I'm thankful that Mother Nature continues to dump snow on the unsuspecting citizens of New England and mid-Atlantic region.

I'm thankful for the 24-hp on tap for utility linemen tasked with restoring power in the wake of these storms.

I'm thankful that when the job is complete, we can swap the repair equipment for the wife and kids and really enjoy ourselves this weekend.

And I'm thankful it's Friday, Feb. 20, 2015.

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Finding Winter: Two Days, 200 Miles and One Tired Kid

(2/19/2015)

February 2015 Snowmobile trip on Minn. North Shore. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

If you're from the Midwest, then I don't need to remind you that this winter has been pretty dismal. By mid-February, my son Cal and I had ridden together exactly twice.

Sheesh! So much for our favorite pastime...

If winter wasn't going to find us this season, then we needed to find it. So Cal and I loaded up the trailer and headed for Minnesota's North Shore, where we found ample snow, amazing trails and two days of fun.

Click to read.

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Snowmobile Hall of Fame Weekend 2015

(2/19/2015)

2015 Snowmobile Hall of Fame & Ride With The Champs. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

The Annual Snowmobile Hall of Fame/Ride With The Champs weekend took place recently in St. Germain, Wis., where racers, riders, collectors and inductees gathered to celebrate the sport of snowmobiling.

Click for a hall-of-fame-like story about the weekend.

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How to Empty a Watering Hole (30 Years Later)

(2/18/2015)

Arctic Cat "How to Empty a Watering Hole" ad 30-year celebration.

Grizzled old-timers like myself remember with great fondness a series of classic Arctic Cat advertisements in the mid-1980s that evoked the spirit of snowmobiling in a way that very few ads did before or since.

“How to Empty a Watering Hole” was one such classic.

Last month was the 30th Anniversary of that great ad. To celebrate (and raise money for charity) many of the original cast gathered to recreate the original.

Click to read the story and buy your own version of the poster.

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News Bites 2.14.15: The Highs and Lows of Snowmobiling

(2/14/2015)

Screen grab from snowmobile crash video on YouTube.

Available next year at Hay Days: “I Bang Snow Banks” t-shirts.

In this thief’s version of Planes, Trains and Automobiles, the lovely Joshua Vossen allegedly stole a van, Volvo, Arctic Cat snowmobile and a truck in his efforts to flee. Apparently the Volvo stint left no lasting impression.

What happens when 1,044 snowmobilers gather for a ride? A possible Guinness World Record. I wonder if the 1,044th rider gave the “I’m-last-in-line” hand sign?

The Guinness ride might have had another participant IF he hadn’t burned his sled piece-by-piece in an effort to stay warm. #firecat

Do officers sit around and laugh once the dust settles from an incident like this? I hope so. 

A truly frightening avalanche that appears to end well for this sledder.

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TGIF (the 13th) in Feb. 2015

(2/13/2015)

TGIF: Friday the 13th, Feb. 2015

I'm thankful that the most truly terrifying moments while snowmobiling happen to OTHER people.

I'm thankful for the containment provided by snowmobile bibs when the $#!T gets scared out of you.

And I'm thankful that it's Friday the 13th, Feb. 2015.

(Click to see larger versions of the above images.)

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The Interview: Soo 500-Winning Team of Brian Dick & Wes Selby

(2/11/2015)

Arctic Cat - Christian Bros. Racing win 2015 Soo 500 Enduro.

This past weekend, Arctic Cat engineer-racers Brian Dick and Wes Selby teamed up with Christian Brothers Racing to win the 47th Annual Soo 500 International Enduro in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

They were joined by Arctic Cat's Cadarette Racing in second, with Christian Brothers/Arctic Cat finishing eighth.

Here's an in-depth interview with Brian and Wes from just after they'd arrived home from their whirlwind week at the Soo.

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News Bits 2-4-15: You Can't Make this Stuff Up

(2/4/2015)

News Bits on ArcticInsider.com

Want to be the biggest Bad @$$! In New England? Read THIS CRAIGSLIST POST, buy the wicked sled and enjoy the title of BAMF.

Who HASN’T wanted to take a snowmobile for a rip around a ski hill?!? Unlike most of us, THIS guy actually did it.

How mad is Peter Packard for getting called out by local media for his snowmobile fail? I’ve done similar maneuvers my whole life. Fortunately they weren’t documented on the local news.

Let me get this straight: a drag racer fails to navigate a turn and crashes into a tree. Somewhere IN THIS STORY is a joke, because the guy himself provided the punch line.

Wolf (almost) bites person. Officer drives snowmobile over wolf, killing it.

Why is it that snowmobilers simply deal with other users, without complaining? But when other recreationalists have to deal with snowmobilers, they try to get snowmobiling banned continue reading ...


Snow Report: Who's Riding?

(2/3/2015)

Snow Cover in North America 2-3-15

Recent storms have dropped enough snow in certain areas to open up the first riding opportunities of the season. And the regions where snow has been on the ground are maintaining it.

The above map (from NOAA) of snow cover tells the story.

I'm headed to northern Wisconsin this weekend for my first significant riding of the season.

Are YOU going riding this weekend?

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TGIF: The Jan. 30, 2015 Edition

(1/30/2015)

TGIF: The REALLY vintage snowmobile version

I'm thankful for the wind-in-my-hair freedom of riding my snowmobile.

I'm thankful that loud pipes save lives.

I would be thankful to hear a word that describes the front chassis design.

And I'm thankful it's Friday, Jan. 30, 2015.

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Brad Pake: The Career Interview with 1990s Team Arctic Racing Legend

(1/27/2015)

Team Arctic Racing legend Brad Pake. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

When terrain racing exploded in popularity in the mid-1990s, Team Arctic's Brad Pake emerged as one of the very best at both cross-country and snocross.

In a remarkable four-year stretch that ranks among the all-time greatest, the calm and quiet farmer from Felton, Minn., claimed two I-500 cross-country wins; one ISOC and one FANS Championship; the 1996 Snow Week Racer of the Year award; wins at nearly every major cross-country  and a pile of snocross victories.

This interview about his career, his family and his friendly rivalries with friend Kirk Hibbert was a long time coming, but I think it's worth the wait.

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